Preparing turkey may seem like a daunting task to many people, but it really doesn’t have to be.

Whether you’re roasting your first Thanksgiving turkey, or you’re just trying to be the best turkey roaster you can be, these easy steps will help you delivery a perfectly roasted turkey!

  1. Thaw the turkey and remove neck and giblets from the neck and body
    cavities.

  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  3. Place turkey breast-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. If
    cooking stuffing inside the turkey, fill the body cavity with stuffing now.

  4. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not
    touching bone.

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  5. Roast the turkey, uncovered, until the meat thermometer registers 180
    degrees F. Use the roasting timetable to estimate approximate cooking
    time. If stuffed, make sure the temperature of the stuffing has reached
    160 to 165 degrees F. before removing the turkey from the oven.

Timetable for Roasting a Turkey at 325 Degrees F.

Unstuffed Turkey

  • 8 to 12 pounds – 2 3/4 to 3 hours
  • 12 to 14 pounds – 3 to 3 3/4 hours
  • 14 to 18 pounds – 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
  • 18 to 20 pounds – 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds – 4 1/2 to 5 hours

Stuffed Turkey

  • 8 to 12 pounds – 3 to 3 1/2 hours
  • 12 to 14 pounds – 3 1/2 to 4 hours
  • 14 to 18 pounds – 4 to 4 1/4 hours
  • 18 to 20 pounds – 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds – 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

Source: The National Turkey Federation